Russian Ballet comes to Young Auditorium

Olivia Enriquez, Assistant Arts & Rec Editor

The Russian National Ballet took to the Young Auditorium stage at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater to show off their talent by showcasing the story of both Romeo and Juliet and Carmen on Wednesday, Jan. 29.

The performance was choreographed and directed by Elena Radchenko, who also co-authored the music for the ballet.

“Dancer Elena Radchenko was selected by presidential decree to assume the first permanent artistic directorship of the company. Ms. Radchenko is the founder of the Russian National Ballet, and she has focused the company on upholding the grand national tradition of the major Russian ballet works and developing new talents throughout Russia,” stated Columbia Artists in a press release.

The dance company effectively performed two different stories in one performance with a short intermission in between. With classical music and intricate costumes, the ballet was able to engage audience members during the entire performance.     

The choreography of “Romeo and Juliet” allowed the audience to continue to follow the love story without dialogue or explanation. However, one student mentioned that if you were unfamiliar with the story of “Carmen,” it was harder to follow due to the lack of knowledge regarding who was who and what the plot was.

“‘Romeo and Juliet’ was my favorite out of the two acts, partly because if you didn’t know ‘Carmen’, the second act was very confusing,” said Erin Bleicher. Even though it might have been more difficult to follow the story of Carmen closely, it was a favorite for many in the crowd.

“I liked ‘Carmen’ better because it was more upbeat and had darker colors in it, which is not the traditional ballet style that I learned in WOTA,” said University of Wisconsin-Whitewater student and audience member, Kyla Smith.

Not only were the talented dancers showcasing their ballet skills, but they were also telling the classic stories by performing with emotion.

“I noticed that the main dancers had expressive faces while dancing which I imagine is hard to do since they also have to focus on their ballet technique,” stated Smith.

The next event in the Young Auditorium will be a performance by Axiom Brass, a brass chamber music group, on Feb. 11 at 7:30 p.m.